SMSFA lobbying for further relief

SMSF Association corona relief

The SMSF Association has asked the government to boost the measures aimed at providing financial relief from the impact of the corona virus.

The SMSF Association is continuing to lobby the federal government and work with the ATO on the implementation of further financial relief measures for the sector in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

To this end, the SMSF industry body has already written to both Canberra and the regulator outlining the next steps it would like taken to assist SMSF trustees in the difficult economic environment currently being experienced as a result of COVID-19.

“The four key areas we’ve included in that letter are including delay for all SMSF lodgements until at least 30 June and for longer periods where there are particular extenuating circumstances, picking up the rental concession area, particularly for related parties, but also more broadly,” SMSF Association chief executive John Maroney said during the professional body’s latest webinar.

“[Also] relief on in-house assets where funds may have unexpectedly breached the 5 per cent limit because of reductions in other areas of their investments. This was dealt with in the GFC (global financial crisis) and allowing people to make 12-month plans that didn’t need to be executed if asset values recovered, but there is a broader flexibility you hope would be considered.

“And also the area of transfer balance cap relief. When that was legislated a few years ago, the government did say in the explanatory memorandum that if there was a macroeconomic shock, they would seek advice from the government actuary and from the council of financial regulators as to how there might be adjustments in transfer balance cap arrangements to allow for potential replenishing of those that had lost a significant part of their $1.6 million arrangement.”

Maroney elaborated on the association’s concerns about the rental concessions regarding business real property, describing it as a major issue for certain people in the SMSF sector.

“If unrelated-party [rent] concessions are becoming the norm, then it is reasonable for it to then become the norm for related parties without breaching any issues of non-arm’s-length transactions or dealings,” he noted.

Last week, the association called on the government to reduce the minimum pension drawdown, which was enacted on Sunday.

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